Among Them’s opening gives a hint as to what is to come. There is the desperation and danger of a heist. The audience cannot see anything. A black screen with credits is disrupted by the sounds of violence. The only definite is something has gone wrong.
The rest of the movie plays out in a similar way. Everyone watching has an idea of what is happening. A botched robbery leads to an unplanned hostage situation. There is intrigue and twists. The audience cannot clearly see what is happening, but there is the constant promise of something exciting.
Among Them is about two bank robbers and their hostage Sydney. As the two robbers wait for their boss, tensions rise. The mystery continues to build as the plot progresses. Along the way, the three try to cope with the situation.
The movie sets a different tone than expected. There is an obvious lack of trust between the three main characters. Among Them also constantly has the audience asking why things are happening. This is not a standard thriller movie, though. Things have a much darker tinge.
For one thing, the film moves at a slower pace than in other films in the genre. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it can help build tension. Except that does not quite happen here. Things are more eerie than tense.
Nevertheless, this actually works for a time. Among Them delves more into psychological horror than the traditional heist movie. There are quick cuts and even jump scares that would not normally be found in the genre. It is a refreshing take on what at first seems to be a typical film.
The film is basically carried by its three leads. Jonathan Thomson and Dan Liebman are great as the two robbers who have become caught up in something far more than they intended. In movies with small casts, chemistry takes on a greater importance. The two play off each other perfectly. It is the familiar set up with Thomson being the calm one while Liebman is erratic.
Evalena Marie rounds out the trio as Syd. Initially, she seems like she is just going to be there for titillation. While that is a part of the character, it does not consume the role. Syd is a meaty part that adds to the fear and deception of Among Them. It is a welcome role that adds a mysterious dynamic to the story.
Among Them will keep the audience on their toes. There is plenty of misdirection and surprises. Unfortunately, the movie seems to run out of steam during the third act. Things begin to rely more on twists and double crosses. There is also less of the unpredictability of the earlier moments.
Mashing genres came be a great way to liven up a stale story. Among Them takes a standard formula and turns it into something more fun. It deals with the paranoia and descent into madness that are touched on in other heist films in an interesting way. Fans of the genre will get a kick out of this different take.
Among Them is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
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